Working In the UK with A Student Visa

The question most international students ask is whether or not they are allowed to work in the UK while studying.  The answer is depending on the type of your visa.  Because you will have specific permissions determining if and how you can work in the UK, either during or after your studies.

As an international student, depending on your visa, you should be aware of the hours you are permitted to work while on a student visa.  Because working restrictions are imposed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on international students. The maximum number of hours you can work during term time is indicated on your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card or vignette.

Students on student visas can only work on a temporary basis; they cannot be hired on a long-term basis. They are not allowed to be self-employed, start a business, or work as a professional athlete or entertainer. The following are the requirements and rules:

The Circumstances in which you can work

  • During the university term time, that is when the school is in session,  you are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week. According to UKVI, a “week” is defined as “a seven-day period beginning on Monday and ending on Sunday.” You can work full-time during the holidays, which is when the school is on vacation.
  • If on a work placement that is an integral and assessed part of the course, you can work full-time during the school year. Any work placement must be no more than 50% of the total course duration.  Except there is a requirement for the course to contain a specific period of work placement which exceeds this limit.
  • You can work full-time during official vacation periods if you have a student visa for full-time degree-level studies. Term and vacation dates will vary depending on the level of study you are undertaking. It is very important for you to check before starting full-time work. 
  • For an international student whose visa is for a part-time course, you will be unable to work, whether paid or unpaid

For those who have a different type of visa, always check with your university if you are not sure if you are allowed to work or not. And if you are allowed to work, how many hours a week you are can work so as not to end up breaking the law and causing immigration problems for yourself. 

Type of Work You Are Not Allowed On Students Visa

According to UK immigration, students on student visas are allowed to work in a variety of jobs, but they must not:

  • Be self-employed;
  • Engage in business activity;
  • Filling a full-time permanent vacancy;
  • Work as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach, paid or unpaid;
  • Work as an entertainer, paid or unpaid;
  • Work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme.

Bear in mind that, according to UKVI, even if you are working for a company or client outside of the UK, if you are physically present in the UK while doing the work, it counts towards your 20-hour limit. For more information visit HERE

After You Have Completed Your Course

Once your course is completed, you will be considered on ‘vacation,’ and you will be able to work for up to four months or until your student visa expires (whichever is sooner). If you want to work in the UK full-time after finishing your course, you’ll need to change your visa status.

If you have the intention of staying back in the UK after the completion of your studies, volunteering during your studies is one of the greatest and easiest ways of gaining the skills needed by employers and boosting your chances of easily gaining employment upon the completion of your studies.  See the article on the benefits of studying in the UK

Share this article


Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter so that we can notify you of all the latest news, changes to immigration law, available scholarships, and latest jobs, employers employing international candidates and what is happening in Education worldwide?

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *